Doesn't it just make sense that in this crazy season, the Orioles face their biggest game of the season tonight and have to turn to Miguel Gonzalez to pitch in it?
No disrespect to Gonzalez. Far from it. He's been one of the team's most consistent and effective pitchers since joining the team in late May.
In a perfect world, the Orioles would love to go to an experienced guys who's been in big games, pitched in the playoffs and understand the pressure. The Orioles just don't really have anyone like that.
And Gonzalez is a perfect example of 2012.
Not many people had even heard of him when the Orioles called him up from Triple-A Norfolk in late May. Gonzalez had bounced around the minors since 2005 and even just turned 28 and never thrown a pitch in the bigs.
Gonzalez impressed people right away with his control and his, well, lack of fear. He'd throw whatever pitch needed to be thrown, whatever the situation.
Yes, he got banged around a few times and has given up 13 homers in 99 innings, including a few real moon shots. Still, Gonzalez repeatedly gives the Orioles strong starts.
Heading into Tuesday's game with the Rays in Tampa, Gonzalez is 8-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 17 games, 14 of which have been starts. That works for me.
The Rays are not a great hitting team. Gonzalez needs to get through the early innings without giving up one of those homers. The Orioles can't fall behind against James Shields because catching up versus him might not be in the cards.
All the Orioles can ask of Gonzalez is to keep them in the game. He's done it before in this wacky season.
Can he do it once more?